Part 1 – The Price Is Right

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As some of you know, this past Tuesday I went to The Price Is Right in Hollywood. It was such an adventure that I had to break the story down into a two-part blog.

It all began because somehow I got on one of those lists that invite people like me to come to live studio tapings (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) and I frequently get invitations for “guaranteed admission” and “priority” seating. I have no idea how or why I am on the “A list” for audiences, but I am.

Well, this struck me as a great idea since I have never been to a game show and this one offered the opportunity of maybe even being chosen to “C’mon dooooowwwwn!!!” I quickly rsvp’ed and asked for four tickets so I could recruit a “team.”

My “team” consisted of three other divorced women who are some very good friends of mine.That’s a picture of all of us on the top of the blog. (They’d have to be “very good friends” to go along with some of my crazy ideas!)  At first I thought we’d be the Gay Divorcees but that didn’t sound PC. We came up with Divorcee Divas. I had a friend who is a very talented graphic artist design a logo and then had t-shirts made up for us.

This all became very serious business for me. I started recording the show on a daily basis. I researched articles from former contestants so I knew what the producers were looking for in order to get picked. I even called a study session here the night before and Team Divorcee Divas all came for cheese, wine, pizza and key lime pie (everyone brought something to eat; we really don’t need an excuse for wine) and we spent hours watching Drew Carey and pausing the show so we could make our own price predictions. Only one of us was consistently good. I always over bid…by a lot.  I’d even printed out excel spread sheets with past prices of items. If I knew how to use or even read excel spread sheets that would have been helpful. Fortunately, two of the Divas did. As they explained I just heard “wahhh wahhh wahhh.”

So the big day arrived. We met here at 10 since we were told to be there by noon. I knew that studio audiences line up from 8 a.m. even though they know they won’t get in until noon but we are older and need our beauty sleep. I thought 10 would allow us plenty of time even if there were the usual LA-bound traffic…and yes, there was.

Much to the chagrin of my passengers, as the traffic didn’t move and the clock ticked, I went into hyper-NYC-driving mode, weaving in and out of the slow lanes of traffic, inching my way up passing everyone I could to just get a little further ahead. We arrived at Studio City at 11:20, parked in The Farmer’s Market and sprinted over to stand on line.

The wrong line.

I finally realized that there was a second, much shorter line and when I inquired of the Security guard found out that was where the “Priority” folks were standing. So off we went. To stand on line…and stand on line…and stand on line…and…you get the idea.

Someone once said to me that one of the few things that makes life last longer is standing on line. I always think about that. Well, if that were the case at the studio, we all should live to be 300.

However, another thing I’ve learned about standing on line, since I talk to everyone, is that you meet some very interesting people. This was definitely the case last Tuesday.

There was a team of 23 labor and delivery nurses from San Diego. A Hebrew a capella choir from the University of Maryland, who entertained us with wonderful songs. Another contingent of about 20 or so folks with “Show me the Benjamins” on their green t-shirts with a $50. bill emblazoned across the front. The six middle-school friends from all over the country who’d come to LA to celebrate their 40th birthday together and had been to the premiere of Dancing With the Stars the night before. A sextet of very handsome young men (notice the play on words here!) who were on leave from the Air Force whose shirts said, in big letters, “All this can be yours if The Price Is Right”…all told there were somewhere around 300 potential contestants of which only nine would be picked to participate.

The lines snaked around benches and about 1 p.m. they moved us to another area (with more benches) and took our lunch orders. I’d had a package of trail mix and a half sandwich earlier so I passed on the $11. cheeseburger.  Sometime around 3 p.m. they started the “interviews.”

Let me explain how this is done.

When you first arrive, everyone is assigned a number and you must sit in order. You also need to fill out paperwork that says that you have not been a contestant on a game show in the last ten years, you don’t know anyone who has been on a game show in the last ten years and at no time have you ever so much as thought about being a contestant on a game show. You must also disclose whether you have any relationship with anyone who works for CBS, has worked for CBS or even thought of working for CBS. They call up groups of 20 to meet with the “interviewer” who goes down the row of folks lined up behind a fence (for lack of a better word) and asks everyone what they like to do for fun. In our group, answers ranged from “I’m addicted to Zumba” to mine, which was that I liked to do stand-up comedy. I was hoping that would give me an edge over someone who only say, liked to knit and crochet.

Finally, at about 5 p.m. we were all ushered into the studio…. to be continued next week!

 

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